How to Clone Windows 7 to New Hard Drive or SSD (2 Ways)

Want to transfer Windows 7 to a new hard drive? This page introduces 2 simple ways to migrate Windows 7 to new HDD or SSD without reinstalling OS. Find the best solution for you.


By Delia Updated on March 8, 2024

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Why Clone Windows 7 to New Hard Drive

When you plan to replace a Windows 7 hard drive with a new HDD or SSD and don't want to lose data or reinstall OS, disk cloning (or migration) is the easiest solution. It transfers all the boot files, personal data and installed programs from one disk to another, and make it bootable.

More specifically, you can clone a hard drive with Windows 7 installed to a new one in the following scenarios:

  • Upgrade hard drive. Running Windows 7 on a new disk, SSD in particular, would improve performance.

  • Expand disk space. Transferring Windows 7 to larger disk can easily solve the low disk space issue.

  • Use SSD for OS and HDD for storage. You can transfer OS to SSD and keep old hard drive for data storage.

  • Make a backup. Make a copy of Windows 7 system on other places is a good disaster recovery solution.

Windows 7

👉 Best Tool to Clone Windows 7 to Another Hard Drive
👉 Way 1: Transfer Windows 7 to New Hard Drive via Disk Clone (Easy🔥)
👉 Way 2: Move Windows 7 to New Hard Drive via Backup and Restore (Free👍)
👉 FAQs on Cloning a Hard Drive in Windows 7

Best Tool to Clone Windows 7 to Another Hard Drive

Windows 7 migration can be realized by direct cloning or system backup & restore. Either way you choose, you can use the powerful imaging & cloning tool AOMEI Backupper to fulfill it.

It works with Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, etc. So even if you upgrade to newer OS in the future, you can still use it for Windows migration and protection.

With clone feature: You can clone a hard drive to smaller drive (with intelligent-sector mode) or larger drive with secure boot. It also gives you "SSD Alignment" option to boost performance of target SSD.

With backup and restore: You can create a system image easily in case of recovery needs, and set a “Schedule” (optional) to perform the backup daily, weekly, monthly. Besides full backup, incremental backup is also available to copy only changed data each time.

Download the free demo to try these powerful features:

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

*Clone features in free trial can only be demonstrated. Please upgrade for full functionality.

AOMEI Backupper also offers you advanced options, such as "Edit Partitions" to adjust partition size and make full use of disk space; the support for both MBR and GPT that allows you to clone any data disk or system disk regardless of the partition style; "Universal Restore" to restore system to another computer with different hardware, etc.

Way 1: Transfer Windows 7 to New Hard Drive via Disk Clone (Easy🔥)

Here you will learn how to migrate Windows 7 to another HDD or SSD with powerful cloning features.

If you want to clone Windows 7 hard drive to another drive, you could choose "Disk Clone". It overwrites everything on your old disk to the target disk, including all the system-related partitions and non-system data partitions.

You can also transfer OS to new hard drive using the "System Clone" option. It‘s similar to disk clone, but only system related drives will be migrated to the new HDD or SSD. Other data partitions are not involved.

Step 1. Prepare for cloning Windows 7.

To clone hard drive in Windows 7, the first thing is to download and install AOMEI Backupper on your computer.

Then, connect or install the new hard drive to your computer and make sure it can be detected. You may need a SATA-to-USB adapter or enclosure if there is only one slot.

connect new hard drive

Make sure the new hard drive is large enough to store all data on the current disk, otherwise the cloning process will fail. You can reduce volume data by deleting useless files or uninstalling unnecessary applications.

Step 2. Choose the clone feature you need.

Open AOMEI Backupper and go to Clone tab. To clone the hard drive with Windows 7 installed, choose Disk Clone. If you only want to transfer Windows to another drive, you may choose the System Clone feature instead.

Disk Clone

Note: It supports cloning all data disks and system disks, allowing you to clone MBR to MBR/MBR to GPT or GPT to GPT/GPT to MBR directly. But you still need to ensure the partition style of your target disk is compatible with your boot mode (MBR for legacy BIOS and GPT for UEFI).

Step 3. Specify the source drive and the new hard drive.

Select the source disk with Windows 7 installed, and click Next.

*If you chose the "System Clone" feature in the last step, the Windows 7 system partitions will be automatically detected and selected.

Select Disk

Select the new HDD or SSD you want to transfer Windows 7 to as the destination disk, and click Next.

Select Destination Disk

Step 4. Finish the setup and start cloning Windows 7.

In the Operation Summary page, you can edit partitions, specify cloning method, and check SSD alignment as you wish. Then, start the process to clone Windows 7 to new hard drive by clicking Start Clone.

  • Edit Partitions: Specify partition size on the target drive and assign unallocated space.
  • SSD Alignment: If you want to clonehard drive toSSD in Windows 7, check this option to optimize the SSD.
  • Sector By Sector Clone: This mode will clone every sector to the target disk, whether it is used or not. This is necessary if you want to copy system reserved recovery partition and ensure it still works on the new drive. But please do not check it when cloning to a smaller drive.

Start Clone

Then, wait until the process ends and click "Finish".

Step 5. Boot Windows 7 from the cloned drive.

There are usually 2 ways to boot up Windows 7 on new hard drive:

  • (Recommended) Shut down your PC and remove the source disk. Install the newly cloned hard drive on the machine. Start up your PC.
  • Restart your PC and press Del (or F2, or F12) to enter BIOS. Change boot priority to the new hard drive and press F10 to save and start. In this way, it's also possible to use SSD as boot drive and keep HDD for storage.

BIOS Boot Order

Besides cloning Windows 7 to new hard drive, you can use similar steps to clone Windows 10 to new hard drive, clone SSD to larger SSD and the like.

Way 2: Move Windows 7 to New Hard Drive via Backup and Restore (Free👍)

This part will show you how to backup system and restore to new hard drive. If may not be as easy as the cloning method, but you can use the completely free version - AOMEI Backupper Standard to complete all the operations.

Part 1. Download migration tool and get everything ready.

Download this free version of AOMEI Backupper, connect the target hard drive or SSD to your computer, and then follow the steps below.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Part 2. Create system image for Windows 7.

Install AOMEI Backupper and open it, click Backup and then System Backup. Next, follow the wizard to complete the system backup. Make sure you store the backup image on a path that can be accessed easily.

System Backup

Part 3. Restore Windows 7 to new hard drive.

In AOMEI Backupper, click Restore and then Select Task. Select the backup task you just created. At the step of selecting destination path, choose Restore system to other location, and then navigate to the new drive.

Select Backup Image

✍Related tips:

Part 4. Start up Windows 7 on new hard drive.

Shut down your PC when the restoration finishes. You can load Windows 7 from the new disk through one of the two ways mentioned in the last method.

FAQs on Cloning a Hard Drive in Windows 7

1. What software can I use to clone a hard drive in Windows 7?

There are several third-party software options available for cloning hard drives in Windows 7. Among them, AOMEI Backupper is recommended for easy operation and high success rate.

2. Do I need special hardware to clone a hard drive?

Generally, you don't need special hardware to clone a hard drive. However, if you're cloning a laptop hard drive and your laptop only has one hard drive slot, you may need a SATA-to-USB adapter or a hard drive docking station to connect the new drive to your laptop externally.

3. How long does it take to clone a hard drive?

The time it takes to clone a hard drive depends on various factors such as the size of the drive, the speed of your hardware, and the software you're using. It could take anywhere from dozens of minutes to several hours.

4. Can I continue using my computer while the cloning process is running?

It's generally not recommended to use your computer while the cloning process is running, as it may cause errors or interruptions in the process. However, with the “hot clone” feature of AOMEI Backupper, you can use your computer as usual during the cloning process.


This page provides a stepwise tutorial to clone Windows 7 to new hard drive. You can pick a method and follow the guide to transfer Windows 7. And it's suggested to use old hard drive for storage if it still works well.

In this case, AOMEI Backupper is quite helpful in data and system migration due to its lucid user interface and ease of use. No technical skills or knowledge is required for users. It is also suggested to keep the software installed after cloning, as it can safeguard your computer files with automated file backup/sync solution to save time and effort. Try it now to discover more!

Delia · Editor
Delia owns extensive experience in writing technology-related blog posts, and has been a part of AOMEI since 2020 to provide expertise in data security and disaster recovery. She works with Windows operating systems, SQL databases, and virtualization platforms such as VMware and Hyper-V, specializing in troubleshooting and advising on data protection and migration.